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Every Child Ready to Read

The Ida Rupp youth services staff is dedicated to sharing with parents their vital role as their child's first and greatest teacher in preparation for kindergarten. 


Every story time presented revolves around one of the following pre-reading skills:  



Make sure your child has lots of opportunities to talk with you not just listen to you talk.  Answer your child’s questions as completely as possible.  Ask your toddler to tell you about something that happened to him or her today; ask for more details so your child can expand on the story.  Ask questions that have more than a “yes” or “no” answer. When talking with your child, use new words, take turns, and make connections to everyday life.  Books are wonderful conversation starters. 



Reading together and talking about what you read increases children’s vocabulary and background knowledge; helps children learn how books word and how written language looks; gives children an understanding of how stories are organized with a beginning, middle, and end; and encourages imaginative thinking.  Reading is the best way to introduce rare or less common words.  Have your child turn the pages.  Ask open-ended questions that involve more than a “yes” or “no” answer. 



Singing with your child helps to develop listening skills and learn new words and information.  By slowing down language through singing, children can hear the different parts of words and notice how they are alike and different.  Most songs have a different note for each syllable.  This helps children break down words so they hear individual sounds in words.  Sing while you are in the car, around the house, or doing everyday activities.



As children scribble and draw, they practice eye-hand coordination and exercise the muscles in their fingers and hands.  This helps develop the fine motor control they need to write letters and words.  Encourage your child to “sign” their name on their drawings.  Even if this begins as a scribble, children learn that they can write something that represents their name.  Ask your child to label parts of his or her drawings.  This also helps your child understand that letters and words stand for things.  Once your child can grasp a thick crayon or marker, give him or her unlined paper and plenty of opportunities to draw and write.  Talk to your child about what he or she draws, ask questions, and respond to what your child says.  You can also make up a story to go with the drawing. 



Pretend play helps children think symbolically and develop oral language skills.  As children play store or pretend to be an animal, they talk about what they’re doing.  They practice putting thoughts into words.  Dramatic play helps develop narrative skills as children make up a story about what they’re doing.  This helps them understand that stories happen in an order:  first, next, last.  Make-believe also gives children a change to act out real-life situations, work through worries and fears, and use their imagination to solve problems.  Play helps children feel a sense of accomplishment and self-confidence.  You are your child’s first teacher, and your home is where your child begins to learn.


For more information, check out the following website: 

Birth to Six

Booklists and video finger plays from Hennepin County Library in Minnesota

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